Impacts of data visualization on traditional journalism


During recent years, the Internet has been popular and social media has developed rapidly while traditional journalism has been challenged. Although traditional journalism is poorly developed, people are thirsting for information. ‘Big data age ’has brought a new opportunity to journalism.

1.Concept changes.

Data visualization makes the production sectors of news different from that of the traditional journalism which are the choice of sources, interview, writing and dissemination. Data visualization enables journalists to shift their focus from seeking hot issues to explain the inner logical relations of current affairs to the public. It shows audiences the complicated relations between data, society and individuals through visual means. Pictures and designs are often used as a supporting role in traditional reports, while this part is more focused in data visualization. Data visualization requires an objective and acceptable method to stimulate the public attention and participation, which is a new way of news coverage.


2.Requirements changes.

Data visualization report is a huge challenging for traditional journalists . Some changes can be seen from the composition of BBC.

Data news production team of BBC News Network is made up journalists, designers and developers. Although there is no special ‘data journalist’ in this team,each editorial member is required to use basic form tool for data analysis.

Obviously, the production of data news is no longer the traditional collection, processing and release mode, which cannot be completed by only one reporter. Data visualization projects require journalists to strengthen collaboration with designers and IT technicians as well as to master data analysis skills.

3. Traditional collection and dissemination of news materials are confronting challenges.

The traditional journalists tend to conduct interviews at the places where the event happened to acquire first-hand data. Besides, the interviewees are various. The news is often represented in the form of words.

Data visualization is a revolutionary challenge. During this period, if a journalist wants to do a good job, he should not only has professional knowledge and skills, but also to grasp technical expertise. What data journalists are facing is the government database or the massive information on the Internet, which requires journalists master data processing and analysis capacities. Therefore, data collection becomes an essential part.

After data analysis, data news can be released in different approaches such as information forms, comic products and data blog.



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